Haydock and Ascot previews
The Betfair chase at Haydock 3.00 looks an open affair featuring many of the country’s top staying chasers.
The fitting of cheek pieces to Silviano Conti may ensure he stays focused at the business end of the race. But his run at Wetherby is still of concern.
Cue Card sets the standard having beaten Silvy and Dynaste 12 months ago. Like in 2012 he has had a pipe opener over an inadequate trip and may well repeat his win last year. Dynaste won the Ryanair but may be destined for minor honours again.
Menorah is in fine form having won the Charlie Hall but hasn’t always shown consistency.
Is this the day Taquin Du Seuil steps in to the top echelon? He should now be at peak fitness having chased home Menorah and the addition of cheek pieces may be the final piece in the jigsaw. I take Cue Card for the forecast.
12.10 Lightening Rod won well at Wetherby and can follow up despite 9lb rise.
12.45 No Duffer could well follow up his stable debut win at Stratford under Barry Geraghty. Gas Line Boy will be well backed but is not the most consistent of horses.
1.15 Heath Hunter E/W ran well here in.the Spring and looks in a useful mark. His stable are dab hands at having them fit first time out. Lyvius benefited from a step up in trip at Aintree last time and is also a good each way bet.
1.50 The New One shoul take care of Melodic Rendezvous but at a prohibitive price.
2.25 Spirit of Shankly represents my 50 to follow and is good each way value at 20/1 over this testing 3 miles. With 17 runners there are plenty of other each way opportunities with the improving Aubusson and Sybarite my picks.
After the Betfair the 3.35 has many with something to prove one way or another. My 2 each way against the field are Pinerolo and Rose of the Moon. The former would be a confident tip if Sue Smiths yard were in better form.
12.25 Fletcher Flyer the mount if Ruby Walsh.
1.00 Minella On Line is consistent and from the in form Rebecca Curtis yard.
1.30 Woodland Walk can be rewarded for consistency though Dark Spirit is a more obvious choice if recovered from last Sundays exertions.
2.05 Amlin Chase – Al Ferof may need the run so Wishfull Thinking
can enhance is near legendary status at the age of 11.
2.40 Faugheen should win this comfortably en route to the Champion Hurdle.
3.15 Hard to rule any out with confidence but I take Bellenos (50 to follow) and the improving Grey Gold who loves right hand tracks to both go close.